Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Steamer Put-in-Bay

From 1911 to 1949 the steamer Put-in-Bay transported passengers from Detroit to Sandusky, with stops at Put-in-Bay and Cedar Point. The ship was launched at Detroit, Michigan on March 25, 1911. An eight year old youngster named William McFall Heyser broke a bottle of champagne which had been made in Sandusky over the steamer. According to an article in the March 26, 1911 issue of the Sandusky Register, there were thousands of people gathered at the Wyandotte yards of the Detroit Shipbuilding Company for the special occasion. Built by the Detroit Shipbuilding Company, the Put-in-Bay was a part of the Ashley and Dustin steamer line. As she traveled down the Detroit River, the captain greeted area residents with three long and two short whistles. The Put-in-Bay featured four decks, and could hold over three thousand people. Passengers danced in the steamer’s ballroom to the music of orchestra leader George Finzel. In an advertisement from 1918 the round trip fare was seventy cents for week days, and $1.10 for Sunday excursions.

In 1949 the Put-in-Bay was transferred to a route that went from Detroit to Port Huron, and in 1953 she was sold for scrap. To read a history of the passenger boats that operated in the Sandusky area, see the Twin Anniversary Edition of the Sandusky Register-Star-News from November 24, 1947, which covers the history of passenger boats in our area up to that time. Ask at the Reference Services desk if you would like to view this historic edition.

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